Excerpt from Report of the Railroad Commission of California: From January 1, 1911, to June 30, 1912
Commission at that time to do many things of value to the State, and in addition, we have actively worked with the legislature and its committees with a view to better legislation and changes in the Constitution which would bring about effective regulation of all utilities; and we believe that with some minor imperfections the Public Utilities Act as it stands in California to-day is the furthest advanced in utility regulation in existence.
Naturally much difficulty was encountered with the railroads origi nally, when they were solely within our jurisdiction, and with the other utilities after control over them had been placed in the hands of this Commission, in securing information necessary to proper decision of cases. We, however, have proceeded to the best of our ability to get all information necessary, and have decided all cases promptly, and any delays which may have occurred have been the direct result of the failure of the utilities to furnish the required information.
It is doubtful if any other commission has, within a Similar period, rendered more decisions Of far-reaching effect, but regardless of this fact, but once have this Commission's decisions been taken into court, and then the Commission was promptly sustained. We have endeavored to act with the utmost fairness toward the utility and the public, and as a fixed policy have always endeavored to have our decisions so fair that no litigant would desire to contest them, but so strongly fortified in the evidence and so carefully prepared as to form that even though a litigant desired to contest them such contest would avail nothing.
In our regulation of the securities of utilities we have Often had it urged upon us that stringent regulation would frighten capital from the State. Notwithstanding such suggestion, we have deemed it proper always to have in view the public welfare, and while our regulation mav have deterred capital from coming into the State in a few instances, it has only done so in those instances where the conditions upon which the investment was to be made were unfair to the rate-paying public. We have chosen to believe that the better policy is to foster investment, but only upon such terms as will ultimately bring about the giving Of adequate service at reasonable rates by a utility not overburdened in capitalization or bonded indebtedness.
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